LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 16: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers controls the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on April 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 92-77. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Day 2 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs begins with the Spurs' quest to survive the first round, and ends with what should be an epic battle between the Grizzlies and Clippers.
Let's hope that Day 2 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs is remembered differently than its predecessor, which will go down as the day Derrick Rose went down. It could have been different, but Kevin Durant's epic game-winner to lead the Thunder past the Mavericks happened by the time most of the East Coast was fast asleep. (Four games in one day: amazing if you can stay up late or move to the West Coast.)
Injuries aside, we learned a lot on Day 1. Given how tight three of the four series tipping off on Sunday are expected to be, we should start a get a great sense of how Round 1 will play out by the end of the quadruple-header. Here's a quick rundown of Sunday's schedule.
The San Antonio Spurs are again the No. 1 seed in the West, taking on a team in the Utah Jazz that wasn't supposed to dream of making the playoffs this year. But by the time this series is over, maybe we won't want to remember that Utah made the postseason. Or, the Jazz's massive, deep frontcourt could give Tim Duncan nightmares. Let's find out!
The Lakers are back for more, hoping to avoid getting bounced before the NBA Finals this season, a year removed from a three-year run of conference championships. The rebuilt Nuggets are hoping to surprise the world and ride a youth corps led by Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari right past older L.A. The Lakers haven't played in a week, so watch for rust, especially on the big men and recovering Matt Barnes.
It was in 2008 that a first-round series between the Celtics and Hawks stopped everyone's heart. The home team never lost in that series, and Boston -- who had been dominant in the regular season -- prevailed in a Game 7 blow-out over an Atlanta squad that finished the regular season below .500. The Hawks have the better record this time out, and home court advantage, too. We'll see if they can reverse 2008's result.
This could end up as the game of the weekend, though it's hard to plot that out in advance -- few guessed the Mavericks would the Thunder to their limits on Saturday night. The Grizzlies and Clippers are just so evenly matched, and while Memphis has home court advantage, L.A. has Chris Freaking Paul. I wish this game would start right now.
Stay tuned to SBNation.com/NBA for full coverage during Sunday's action.